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Continuous Improvement Of Environmental Engineering Curriculum In A Ce Accredited Program

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Assessment Issues in Environmental Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.333.1 - 13.333.19



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Paper Authors


Kevin Bower The Citadel

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Dr. Bower is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. Prior to his employment at The Citadel, he worked as an environmental engineer in Akron, Ohio. He received a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from The University of Akron and specialized in modeling carcinogenic chemical production in the drinking water distribution system. Dr. Bower was the 2005 Most Outstanding New Faculty at the ASEE –SE Conference and a New Faculty Fellow at the 2004 Frontiers in Education Conference. Dr. Bower is currently pursuing research in ethical and moral development in the engineering profession and how that relates to student learning.

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William Davis The Citadel Orcid 16x16

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William Davis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Alabama, M.S. from Auburn University and earned a Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Davis is a member of ASEE, American Society of Civil Engineers, Institute of Transportation Engineers and Transportation Research Board. He serves as Chair of the Education and Student Chapter Committee for the Institute of Transportation Engineers – District 5.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Continuous Improvement of Environmental Engineering Curriculum in a CE Accredited Program


The development of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Body of Knowledge (BOK) guidelines for assessment of program outcomes provides an excellent backdrop for monitoring and improving environmental engineering curriculum in a CE accredited program. A department wide process has been developed which allows faculty to monitor individual student learning as well as tracking changes made to course and curriculum level improvements. On an individual student basis, embedded indicators have been designed based on Bloom's taxonomy and are used to collectively measure student’s cognitive performance as it relates to specific course goals. This process has been developed over the past several years and is currently in the first phase of adjustment and refinement. A systematic means of mapping previously adopted individual learning objectives to specific course goals for the four environmental engineering courses contained in the program is discussed in this paper. On the course and curriculum level improvements, a process has been developed to readily categorize types of changes being instituted and then tracking them from year to year. This process has served to facilitate a productive environment for data driven decision-making by the department and its faculty in lieu of anecdotally based approaches. The objective of this paper is to provide a useful summary as to how instructional material and course goals for environmental engineering courses contained within an undergraduate civil engineering curriculum are efficiently mapped, measured, evaluated and improved in support of quantifiable program outcome assessment. This paper identifies and delineates adopted departmental procedures used to facilitate systematic curriculum decision making, produce readily usable assessment documentation and sustain evidence- based collective faculty efforts occurring along a productive continuous improvement continuum.

Introduction/Background In today’s prevailing assessment-driven atmosphere of engineering education, faculty are being placed under increased demands to measurably link course instruction and student learning to curriculum-wide program outcomes. In addition, course modifications and curriculum improvements need to be implemented systematically within a transparent and documented manner that embodies the ideas of continuous improvement. Furthermore, it is not enough to merely measure outcomes and manage on-going modifications, effective civil engineering programs need to be able to plot a course of action on a broader horizon guiding change to achieve a vision of what the program should become over a 5 or 10 year period. The process has been created and implemented by faculty within the department to address important aspects of assessment within an efficient framework of documentation and decision making. This paper contains a discussion of these assessment components within the context of the four environmental engineering classes contained within the department’s undergraduate

Bower, K., & Davis, W. (2008, June), Continuous Improvement Of Environmental Engineering Curriculum In A Ce Accredited Program Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3559

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